RCU Review: ARCS and STARS Model Airplane Forum


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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: September 2003 | Views: 48727 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse Magazine review- Electric Model Airplane Forum
    Introduction
    I was invited to participate in this year's Central New York Model Airplane Forum. The 22nd annual forum was held in Syracuse, NY on February 1st and is the premier, upstate NY non-flying winter event. The forum is sponsored and organized by the two area clubs; the Aero Radio Club of Syracuse (ARCS) and the Syracuse Thunderbirds Aero Radio Society (STARS). It was a non-profit forum with goals of having some mid-winter fun, sharing of ideas, and education. Although the forum has a traditional history in glow-powered and giant scale models, it has recently focused more attention on all aspects of electric flight. Forum coordinator, Jules Fried, created a well-managed event that benefited over 10 active clubs in the local modeling community.


    Event coordinato, Jules Fried, managed the AMA sanctioned Central New York Model Airplane Forum in Syracuse, NY.
    The host clubs; the ARCS and the STARS provide information flyers, refreshments, and 3 flight simulators for visitors to sample.
    The STARS club lawn mower can take flight after trimming the runway.
    Electric Flight Participants:

    I was honored to participate in the forum but I wasn't the only electric enthusiast present. Tom Cimato of MaxCim motors, accompanied by pilot/builder Paul Martin, gave demonstrations and explained the approach for replacing .60 and .90 sized glow engines with high-end electric brushless motors. They even brought a few ¼ scale electric-powered models to show.

    Paul Martin and MaxCim owner, Tom Cimato (right), demonstrate their Graupner ShowFlyer conversion from a glow motor to quiet and clean electric power.


    Dan Hurd from Dynamic Web Enterprises (DWE) holds a
    1.5oz Funcraft rubber-powered P-51 converted to R/C.

    On the other end of the electric spectrum, Dan Hurd from Dynamic Web Enterprises demonstrated the lasted micro-flight technology in 1oz models using the RFFS100 module powered by a single Lithium Polymer cell. It was a great contrast from the ¼ scale electric planes and demonstrated the dynamic range that quiet electric flight has to offer.

    Nick Ziroli presented both giant scale and electric models to the visitors. Nick has many decades of R/C experience and was eager to share it with everyone.

    AMA District II VP, Dave Mathewson talked about the latest changes at the AMA and calmed many concerns about the topic of limiting travel with R/C gear due to terrorism concerns. Dave's presence showed a strong affiliation between the AMA and the 22-year-old forum.

    Demonstrations:

    I brought a range of electric models that included micro-flyers, slow-flyers, park-flyers, and a few larger conversions of .30 and .60 size glow planes. My Graupner ShowFlyer from Hobby Lobby uses a MaxCim 13Y brushless motor on 26 NiCd cells. We discussed the fact that soon, it will be converted to Lithium power packs which will shed over 1 pound in flying weight and triple the flight duration!

    An assortment of micro-flyers from DWE all use the RFFS100 module and a KP-00 motor. The purple "Widget" in the center was modeled after the Hobby-Lobby Wingo.


    The talk of Lithium cells was a big attraction at this years forum. I demonstrated equal capacity packs of NiCd, NiMH, and Lithium Polymer technology. Almost everyone was amazed at the drastic reduction in weight for the same given capacity and current delivery! Alternatively, the technology change from NiCd to NiMH to Lithium could also be used to increase the capacity for the same given weight. My examples included Graupner 500AR NiCd cells, HE cell NiMH cells, and a Kokam Lithium Polymer pack from Bishop Power Products.
    Equal size and weight 1100mAh, HE cell, NiMH packs were compared to Graupner 500AR NiCd packs.
    A simple battery pack change can now double your Speed 400 flight time!


    The tiny #47 Wondermagnet is no larger than the size of a modeling knife tip and can be glued to the coil of a magnetic actuator to offset the control surface weight. The dual aileron Sky Runner micro-flyer was used to demonstrate how the #47 Wondermagnet applied to the right aileron will offset the droop from the control surface. The left aileron has no magnet install for comparison

    Various techniques for improving aspects of micro-flight were shown. One example was the very tiny #47 magnet from Wondermagnet.com. The magnet is just visible on the tip of a razor knife but can be glued to the coil of a magnetic actuator to eliminate the drooping effect of the control surface for self-centering. On a micro-flight design with dual ailerons, this allows two magnetic actuators to be tied to a single channel on an RFFS100 module by eliminating any offset. The tiny magnets are typically glued to the coil using a very small drop of medium CA. The dual aileron Sky Runner micro-flyer from Harbor Freight was used to demonstrate how a #47 Wondermagnet applied to the right aileron provides a static offset from the droop from the control surface. The left aileron has no magnet installed for comparison. When both magnets are installed, the ailerons can be tied into a single receiver channel for control.

    New style "outrunner" motors like the AXI 282010 Rotating Can Brushless motor were demonstrated. This little 5.8 ounce motor is only 1.38" in diameter and 2.25" long, not counting motor shaft. You attach the front of the motor to the backside of the firewall and the 5mm prop shaft comes through the firewall. The entire motor case rotates providing a very high torque and allows this motor to drive large diameter props without using a gearbox. My AXI 282010 motor can spin a 12x6 prop on 10-cells at 8500 RPMs!
    New style "outrunner" motors like the AXI 282010 Rotating Can Brushless motor were demonstrated. This little 5.8 ounce motor is only 1.38" in diameter and 2.25" long, not counting motor shaft. You attach the front of the motor to the backside of the firewall and the 5mm prop shaft comes through the firewall. The entire motor case rotates providing a very high torque and allows this motor to drive large diameter props without using a gearbox


    Paul Weigand detailed the 1909 ship with a hand-carved and
    painted wooden "Orville" pilot.

    The 1909 Wright Flyer is from Dare was designed by
    Pat Trittle and featured in the March issue of Quiet Flyer.
    Local R/Cer, Paul Weigand, built this beautiful Wright Flyer from Dare that was designed by Pat Trittle and featured in the March issue of Quiet Flyer. Paul even detailed the 1909 ship with a hand-carved "Orville" pilot.
    MaxCim Motors had an active display of a MaxN32 brushless motor turning a prop, enclosed in a Plexiglas display case. The interesting thing about this is that the motor runs all day on a single battery charge. It is usually running at a low speed that demonstrates the smoothness and can be throttled up at any time, producing enough thrust to noticeably deflect the ¼" plexiglas case that the motor is mounted too. Throughout these demonstrations viewers are given the opportunity to feel that the controller and motor are as cool as they should be, graphically illustrating very efficient part throttle operation. Viewers can also run the throttle to see the smooth and linear response. The active demo was a nice touch of professionalism by MaxCim motor designer, Tom Cimato.
    One of the give-away tables provided free copies of Quiet Flyer magazines, Hobby Lobby catalogs, and E-Zone flyers. The black EPP foam Potensky Cobra and Graupner GeeBee Sportster also drew plenty of attention.
    .A P-38 Lightning twin profile plane was designed by Paul Weigand. The 28" span bomber uses two N20 motors and 2 1/4" props from the ducted fan thrusters used on the Blimps. The model is about 5 years old and has flown around 100 flights, free flight, both indoors and out. It weighs in at 44 grams with the RFFS 100 system and single 170 mil LiPoly cell.


    Paul Martin's SIG Kadet LT-40 is powered by a MaxCim 13Y brushless motor, MEC Superbox, and an APC e-prop
    A new Potensky Cobra has the float option installed and a custom trim detail. The 31" span aerobatic ARF model can hover on the stock geared Speed 300 power system.
    Summary:

    The increased focus on electric flight at this year's Central New York Model Airplane Forum was evidence that this aspect of R/C flying is gaining in popularity. Pre-packaged systems and products have taken some of the fear out of electric modeling. By gathering additional information, first-hand from participants at the forum, it will help open the doors for many more in the local modeling community who have the desire to understand electric flight.

    I was honored to participate in the forum this year and plan on attending next year.

    Article References:

    Bishop Power Products at: www.b-p-p.com
    Dare Design & Engineering at: www.darehobby.com/index.htm
    Dynamic Web Enterprises at: www.smallrc.com/
    eDogFight at: www.edogfight.com/
    Hobby Lobby Int. at: www.hobby-lobby.com/
    MaxCim Motors, Inc. at: www.maxcim.com/index.html
    Radical RC at: www.radicalrc.com
    Funcraft Models at: www.storeofwonder.com/
    Harbor Freight Sky Runner at: www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=43678
    Syracuse Thunderbirds Aero Radio Society (STARS)  http://www.amadistrictiistars.org/
    Academy of Model Aeronautics ~ District II  http://www.amadistrictii.org/ 
     


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